Edge based finite elements are free from drawbacks associated with node based vectorial finite elements and are, therefore, ideal for solving 3-D scattering problems. The finite element discretization using edge elements is checked by solving for the resonant frequencies of a closed inhomogeneously filled metallic cavity. Great improvements in accuracy are observed when compared to the classical node based approach with no penalty in terms of computational time and with the expected absence of spurious modes. A performance comparison between the edge based tetrahedra and rectangular brick elements is carried out and tetrahedral elements are found to be more accurate than rectangular bricks for a given storage intensity. A detailed formulation for the scattering problem with various approaches for terminating the finite element mesh is also presented.